Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Significance of Women
In the blink of an eye everything can change. In areas of the lower Niger, Okonkwo, the main character of Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, experiences this sudden change. Okonkwo lives in a village Umuofia, where men are seen to be superior to women. Okonkwo is banished from his village and seven years later when he comes back he is disappointed to see his manly village turn, “soft like women” (183). Throughout the novel Ibo women can be seen as mistreated because of the way they are treated and talked about. For example, Ibo men believe the worst insult someone can receive is being called a woman. To vague readers Achebe’s novel could seem sexist towards men, but a deeper reader will notice that women are equivalent to men. Achebe represents Ibo women to be equal to men by their prominent roles in motherhood, traditions, and religion.
Women in Ibo society must love, care, and
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For example, Ani is the earth goddess. She holds the position in which if she is not respected she can ruin everyone’s harvest or punish the village by preventing the annual rains that everyone relies on. Ani is described as, “a greater part in the life of the people than any other deity. She was the ultimate judge of morality and conduct. And what more, she was in close communion with the departed fathers of the clan whose bodies had been committed to earth” (36). She possesses so much power that many of the men are afraid of her. Another important women figure is Chielo, the priestess of Agbala; she is directly in Umufoia to carry out spiritual matters. One night, Chielo comes to Okonkwo’s compound and asks to take Ezinma, “Okonkwo pleaded with her to come back in the morning because Ezinma was now asleep . . . the priestess screams. ‘Beware Okonkwo!’” (101). Okonkwo exposes his weak side by pleading with the priestess. Okonkwo has never shown his weak side to anyone, for anything, expect to

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